16 | 10 | 2019

The Joint List launched its campaign in Jaffa towards Israel’s general elections on September 17, with veteran Knesset Member (MK) Yousef Jabareen and prominent Jaffa activist Sami Abu Shehadeh addressing an audience in Jaffa on Tuesday evening, August 6. Jabareen and Abu Shehadeh respectively hold the tenth and thirteenth slots on the Joint List slate.

The Knesset’s Central Elections Committee (CEC) heard testimony on Thursday, August 8, against the clandestine surveillance operation staged by the Likud during the April 9 general parliamentary elections. On the day ballots were cast for the 21st Knesset, the leading party of the governing coalition, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, deployed some 1,350 polling-station hirelings equipped with hidden cameras to observe events inside polling stations in Arab towns.

Thousands rallied in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, August 6, to protest the deportation of Israel-born children of Filipino workers. Among the demonstrators were several activists of Hadash and the Young Communist League. Authorities this summer have been working to deport some 50 children of foreign workers born in Israel. The Interior Ministry maintains that the children are in the country “illegally because their mothers have overstayed their visas.”

The Arab-Palestinian LGBT community in Israel organized an unprecedented protest on Thursday, August 1, as approximately 200 demonstrators arrived at the German Colony in Haifa, a central area in the city, to protest violence targeting the LGBT community.

The protest was organized after a 17-year-old from the Arab city of Tamra was stabbed Friday afternoon, July 26, outside Tel Aviv’s Beit Dror shelter, after moving there to escape family pressure.

With only a month and a half to go until the September 17 general elections for Israel’s Knesset, all 32 parties that will be running submitted their list of candidates last Thursday, August 1, to the Central Elections Committee. The representatives of the Joint List, headed by Chairman MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), include members of Hadash and three Arab parties: Balad, Ta’al and Ra’am. In last April’s election, these parties ran as two separate lists, Hadash-Ta’al and Balad-Ra’am.

Odeh said, “We’ve overcome the divide-and-conquer policy and have come together. Four months ago we made a mistake, but we’ve learned our lesson… We are running together to represent the complete unity of the Arab population. We’ll fight for our people and for all weaker sectors of the Israeli society.”

Police are investigating a settler “price tag” hate crime in the Arab town of Jisr az-Zarqa, on the coast just north of Caesarea, after the tires of 21 cars were punctured on Wednesday night, July 30, and a house was sprayed with graffiti saying, “The hill in [the settlement of] Izhar [in the Occupied Palestinian Territories], we won’t forget and won’t forgive.”

A member of the local council, Mohammed Lufti, said that until recently, no such incidents had occurred in his community. However, he said, “It is a warning and a sign of things to come.”

A disciplinary body of the Israeli army sentenced 18-year-old conscientious objector Maya Brand-Feigenbaum to 20 days in military prison on Tuesday, July 30, because of her refusal to be conscripted.

This is the second time Brand-Feigenbaum, from the northern town of Kiryat Tiv’on, has been sentenced for refusing to serve since she her initial date of conscription, July 14. Upon completing her new sentence, she will have spent a total of 27 days behind bars.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey as guarantors of the Astana format:

1. Reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter;

2. Reaffirmed in this regard the respect for universally recognized international legal decisions, including those provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of Syrian Golan, first and foremost UN Security Council resolution 497;

On August 1, the UN Secretary-General announced his decision to “establish an internal United Nations Headquarters Board of Inquiry to investigate a series of incidents that have occurred in north-west Syria since the signing of the Memorandum on Stabilization of the Situation in the Idlib De-escalation Area between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey on 17 September 2018.”

August 1, 2019 — CODEPINK is thrilled that Saudi Arabia has announced today they will be abolishing part of their male guardianship system, finally granting women the right to obtain passports and travel (if 21 years of age or over), report births and deaths, and obtain family identification cards without the need for male authorization. Women will still need the permission of a male guardian to marry or divorce. 

We applaud the Saudi women who worked tirelessly and sacrificed for this change and call on Saudi Arabia to drop the charges against, and release, the Saudi women’s rights activists who campaigned for these rights and the right to drive. In 2018 Saudi Arabia did away with its ban on women drivers, but afterwards arrested the very women who had campaigned for the right. Many of these women are still languishing in prison, enduring torture. 

Moscow has noted with great concern the persisting tensions when it comes to the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which became hostage to Washington’s one-sided approaches as confirmed once again by the recent discussion of the Middle East agenda by the UN Security Council. On July 25, the United States blocked the approval of a draft press statement, proposed by Kuwait, Indonesia and South Africa, condemning the demolition of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem. Under international law, Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territories were illegal.

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